Court slams Police for failing to follow AG advice on MiG Case

Court slams Police for failing to follow AG advice on MiG Case

Court slams Police for failing to follow AG advice on MiG Case

Written by Zulfick Farzan

17 Feb, 2020 | 6:31 pm

Colombo (News 1st): Ex-Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga was further remanded until the 26th of February by the Fort Magistrate’s Court.

On Friday, Udayanga Weeratunga was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department for his unlawful interference in purchasing MiG Fighter Aircraft for the Sri Lanka Air Force from Ukraine and causing a loss of more than 07 Billion US Dollars to the Government of Sri Lanka.

Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake decided to reject the bail application filed by the Defence taking in to account the serious nature of the crime and the public unrest which could be caused by granting bail to the accused.

Fort Magistrate ordered the Acting Inspector General of Police to re-assign to the case Chief Police Inspector Nihal Francis and Senior Superintendent of Police T. Dayaratne, who investigated the matter and reported facts to court for more than 05 years, for future investigations.

The Acting IGP was ordered to immediately inform court if he cannot do so and the reasons for it.

The Fort Magistrate went on to note, it is clear the assistance of the two said investigating officers are of paramount importance for the successful completion of the future investigations.

The prosecution had pointed out the controversial deal had cost the government more than 07 Billion US Dollars as a loss.

The Magistrate noted the CIDs failure to produce a certificate from an ASP , which is an essential document to prove the said deal is a crime committed under the public property act , is a serious issue.

However, President’s Counsel Anil De Silva appearing for Udayanga Weeratunga requested his client be released on bail as the Criminal Investigations Department had not produced to court a certificate which proves the loss caused by the suspect is over 25,000 rupees, and therefore investigations cannot take place under the public property act.

However, the Magistrate pointed out investigations for more than 05 years took place and warrants were issued against the suspect as it was proven the offences related to the Public Property Act.

The Magistrate added, it is a serious issue when there are no offences related to the Public Property Act mentioned when the suspect is arrested and produced in court.

The Fort Magistrate further said it is quite unusual for the CID to not produce the Public Property Certificate and it also appears the prosecution is purposely attempting to refrain from producing the said certificate to court.

The Magistrate added it can be observed the investigating officers are operating in a manner where the suspect would meet all requirements to secure bail from court.

The Fort Magistrate stressed, if the Police cannot follow the instructions of the Attorney General, they should not make any future request from court on the need to obtain AG instructions or advise for ANY legal matter.

Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake also noted, it has become a new trend for Sri Lanka Police to not follow the instructions of the advise of the Attorney General.

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